Your name is JAKE ENGLISH and you can’t remember.
You remember your grandmother, always smiling and cheery, and the day she stopped breathing, bleeding out onto the dirt under the trees from three holes in her torso. You remember trying to figure out how to work the machines after you settled her body and grieved, how you fumbled with the awkward tools in your hands, trying to figure out how to set them working right again. You remember watching all sorts of movies and putting the posters up in your room.
You don’t remember what made Jane stop talking to you, and what made her rare replies so angry and bitter. You don’t remember when Dirk’s replies went from long and rambling to short and to the point, when his words became cold and distant. Talking to that damned autoresponder makes better conversation than when you talk with the real Dirk, and that worries you. You don’t remember when Roxy’s words stop being constantly misspelled and her thoughts more serious and direct, when she stopped drinking and became sober.
You don’t remember a lot of things, and it scares you. You try and keep up a cheery façade, drawing on memories of your grandmother to help, but it is hard trying to get anything coherent or usable from either Jane or Dirk, and no amount of prying will get Roxy to explain why and how things changed so much, or tell what you forgot.
The white monsters that lived on your island had also changed. They disappeared; the herd of flying bulls, the cranky seagoat, the dragon that soared overhead, all gone, as though they never existed in the first place. Your room is still on the ground and pumpkins still grow out of control in your ‘garden’, but the forest is still. Only the faint sounds of insects and the occasional bird could be heard. The monsters had long since killed and/or eaten all the natural big animals and taken their place.
You are no stranger to being alone, but for the first time you may be feeling lonely.
And you have nightmares. You never really remember them (a flash of color, a few screamed words, the sensation of three neat stabs in your torso) but they scare you like nothing else does, not even Brobot on hard, or the seagoat or the dragon. You always wake up sweating, panting, heart pounding in your throat. You feel like it is connected to the hole in your memory somehow, but it is like having scattered pieces of a jigsaw puzzle without the finished picture to help you.
Between the overwhelming emptiness on the island, your broken friendships and the hole in your memory, you wonder if you can find your Happily Ever After at the end of this adventure.